This is a big week here; baseball season has officially started. There are several die hard New York Yankees fans on staff: 9/11 Memorial President Joe Daniels being the most enthusiastic, by far.
As work continues on the 9/11 Memorial Museum, after a while, everything seems to connect to the larger story of 9/11 - even the Bronx Bombers. We have several objects in our ever-expanding collection that relate to the great New York baseball club. Some survivors credit the rained out Yankees-Red Sox game on Sept. 10, 2001 with saving their lives because it meant they instead watched the New York Giants play. Monday Night Football ran very late, and in turn, many who watched it were running behind to work on the morning of September 11, narrowly escaping a fate shared by thousands.
Recently an EMT first-responder donated the ticket stub from the September 23, 2001 interfaith “Prayer for America” service that was held at Yankee Stadium to honor the victims of the WTC attacks. Thousands attended. Many recall the emotional service and felt it was fitting for New Yorkers to mourn the loss of life and try and heal a wound together at the home of New York City’s famed club.
Then there's a much more personal connection like the well-worn Yankees cap donated to the museum by the family of Steven Morello of Bayonne, NJ. Morello, who died on 9/11, worked as a facilities manager in the north tower of the World Trade Center.
The curatorial team at the 9/11 Memorial Museum is working to document these stories of fate, and collective grief and healing. Sometimes a simple artifact, such as a ticket stub, is worth its weight in gold, and helps to visualize these bigger feelings and concepts that are the fabric of this history.
By Jenny Pachucki, Oral Historian for the 9/11 Memorial Museum